If one were to give a one-liner to address the question ‘Is IB worth it’, one would say something on the lines of this quote by Jordon Peterson: ‘There is nothing more powerful than someone who is articulate and someone who can think and speak’.
While it is true that the IB program has been deemed as one of the most daunting high school courses out there, it has a lot of perks. The Diploma program offers more than just a better GPA for university applications. This article talks about everything that IB can do for you. Why should you trust the information provided in this article? Well, one reason is that this article is written by an IB graduate. Read on to find the second reason. Hopefully, you won’t need it by the time you scroll down to the end of the page.
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IB and Your Career
First thing's first. We are all doing this for the long run. So will the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program have a direct impact on your career? Simple answer: NO! Doing the IB Diploma will not have a ‘direct’ impact on your career. However, what it will do is give you a set of principles. IB helps you develop a work ethic. It is but a teaser to the amount of effort one needs to put in to make it in the real work. Opting to do the IB courses is like preponing the adult hustle. Why would one what to prepone adulting, you may ask? Well for those who want to ride the chaotic wave of life, the sooner you start hustling, the more advantage you will have. Before you quit reading this post because of the responsibility aspect, hear me out! IB is not that dreadful. Yes, there are a plethora of assignments that require timely submissions, but that does not mean that you will not have any time for other activities. That’s the beauty of IBO.
They have integrated all the fun activities that a student can think of in their CAS module. CAS, literally, is an abbreviation for Creativity, Activity and Service. Your institution will organise events for you that helps you discover your interests outside the academic filed. For instance, the institution with which I underwent the diploma program organised bi-annual adventure trips. These trips had us climb the mountains of Northern India, reconstruct houses of the rural areas and explore the uncharted territories across the globe. Since it is a compulsory module, your institution cannot find their way out of it. Here’s the best part: your teachers cannot take away your fun time to give a lecture!
IB and Your Intellectual Voice
IB Diploma helps the students develop an intellectual voice. They offer holistic learning in such a way that the students are compelled to look at life as an intellectual. But is it essential to be an intellectual? What does it even mean to be one? Well, being intellectual means that you are not easily influenced by superficial knowledge. It is a term coined for those who dig deeper into things that may seem straight forward. Intellectuals are not gullible. They form their opinions after thorough analysis and do not fall for everything. Having such quality in today’s flashy world is a must. It keeps you sane and separates you from the mindless crowd which falls for senseless fads. Now, I do not intend to project hate upon these people. I am merely pointing out that we as humans do a lot of activities which we don’t even enjoy because they are the trend! These activities are not only a waste of our time but are also harming the environment. For example, fast fashion, which is heavily based on replicating the ‘new look’ of a celebrity, is not only making fashion unanimous but is also damaging the earth! Not to mention the exploitation of labour which takes place to keep fast fashion cheap. As an IB student, you will be discussing such topics in your Theory of Knowledge classes. Again these classes are not lectures but debates wherein everyone is allowed to put forth an opinion or question the thinking your professor. In fact, questioning your professor is encouraged in IB as it helps the students find their voice.
IB And Your Voice
Every country has it’s own education system. To a large extent, this education system is skewed towards what that particular country values. For example, the history books of India have been written in such a way that it glorifies the Indian Culture. And there is nothing wrong in that. Being patriotic is a good virtue if one feels immensely for the land in which that individual has been born. However, the history books of Pakistan portray the historical events in a completely different right. India and Pakistan share a lot of historical events. It is almost impossible to find which country has projected history in the most pristine way. The history books if IB remains unbiased while talking about the historical events. Most of the lectures put forth the event which took place and encourages the students to give out their analysis. This not only helps the students ‘learn’ about history, but it teaches them to ‘interpret’ what has happened. The job of the professor is to make sure that the interpretation of the students it not distorted but is in the vicinity of how historians look at those events. Moreover, not every lecture ends with a concrete conclusion. Most history classes end on an open-ended note. Pick out the ending of Inspection by Christopher Nolan to visualise what I am talking about. You get the point! The students not only take back knowledge but also a particular way of thinking that helps them analyse what went wrong in the past and how can it be avoided. This method encourages Albert Einstein's view on education. He believed that one's brain should not be a warehouse of facts but a factory churning ideas. I am sure the current spread of COVID-19 will be discussed in a manner which makes such an event unlikely to repeat in the future.
IB And The Tangential Shift
Students in middle school are a certain way. They are pure potential. They can be anything that they want to be. At the same time, they are carefree and taking life one day at the time (which is precisely how it should be!). IB program helps these students channelise their immense potential. It gives you a push to go up a tangent. One way in which it is done is by completing various assignments that an IB student must do in all of the courses. These Internal Assessments are holistic in nature and offers students an insight into how their education fits in the real world. Initially, they are a pain in the ass as they seem like extra work. But as one begins to see the real-application of their subjects, they get a unique perspective about the world.
Doing IB For A Creative Career
For all the creatives out there. I know what you must be thinking. ‘We are people of the heart. We don't need an intellectual impetus to move forward in life’. If you are indeed thinking about this tangent, then I would like you to introduce to my second reason for doing the IB Diploma. Being a creative myself, IBDP helped me to enhance my art. I always knew that I wanted to materialise my creative energy. IB provided me with the key to do so. How exactly? ’How you do one thing is how you do everything’, a quote by T. Harv Eker is my answer to you. One needs to put in diligent effort to graduate the IB program. This diligent way of working is reflected in one's art as well. Those who belong to the artistic field start churning out multi-facet pieces of art: the one which makes humanity think while being appealing. Furthermore, IBO offers subjects like Design Technology and Visual Arts, which help students to refine their craft.
IB And Your Highest Skill
If you belong to the majority, then you are one of those who have no clue what to do with life. That is how people your age should be. We are all generalist who wants to do so much but is unaware of what exactly should be done. Once again, the IB program offers subjects from 6 different groups.
These groups are:
Group 1: Studies in Language and Literature.
Group 2: Language Acquisition.
Group 3: Individuals and Societies.
Group 4: Experimental Sciences.
Group 5: Mathematics.
Group 6: The Arts
There are different courses within each subject group. Students are required to take one course from each subject group. This helps their inquisitive mind to dive deep in all of the above mentioned disciplined. Since they undergo rigorous academic training in all of the subject groups, they develop a deep understanding of the subject that they naturally inclined towards. Having such an insight in high school plays a vital role in forging out their future career paths.
After graduating IB
So how will you look like after graduating your high school with an IB Diploma? If you did it right, you will come out as a young adult with strong analytical thinking who would have mastered the three most crucial skills required to be a well-functioning adult and beyond: the ability to think, speak, and read. While it is true that many high school courses offer the same, doing the IB Diploma course will surely expand your bandwidth of perception. You would be speaking with the power of empowering the oppressed. Your language will be such that it helps others shape their voice while allowing to state your point. Your ability to read will not just be limited to what is written on the page, but it will also let to read the subtext. Your thinking pattern will help you work in your best interest, and your best interest will be forged in such a way that it will liberate others.
Let me wrap this article on an honest note. When I was undergoing my IB diploma, there were times when I wanted to quit. I saw kids my age having a good time while I had to write essays of 2000 words. Now when I look back, I feel great about the sacrifices that I made in the past because they have helped me reach closer to my ideal self. What helped me pass the IB Program was relying on trustworthy resources. Having the right resources and utilising them at the right time is one of the most important tricks that you need to master for your getting your IB Diploma. How can one do that? Well, that is a topic for another blog. For now, may I suggest you check out the free resources made available by Nail IB! Do check out their guide to acing an Extended Essay!
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